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Adding links to a 10 speed chain

Old 01-24-22, 11:29 PM
  #1  
tFUnK
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Adding links to a 10 speed chain

Moving from 12-28t to 12-32t. Current chain is relatively new, but short a link or two for the new cassette. Can I just add links to it or is this practice unwise? In the past I know I've needed a special pin from Shimano when reconnecting links for 10 speed chains; is this true for all manufacturers' 10 speed chains (Shimano, SRAM, KMC, etc.)?
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Old 01-24-22, 11:50 PM
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Are you just extrapolating that you need 'a link or two' or have you done the drill (big/big plus two links)? It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that your old chain was a link (or two) too long before, and is now just right for the 12-32.

As I understand it, 10sp chain must be closed with a 'quick link', you cannot re-use the pin you pushed out with the chainbreaker. You say the old chain is 'relatively new'. What does that mean?

The way I see it ... suck it up and buy a new chain OR (you didn't hear it from me) just use the 'short' chain and call it good. The extra link (or two) is to protect you if you ever shift into the big-big combination. But you're not going to do that, right? Wrong. Of course you will. So buy that chain. Ciao.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 01-24-22 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-24-22, 11:58 PM
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tFUnK
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Thanks. It doesn't clear the big-big with the new cassette (I have changed it to the appropriate rear derailleur; the current chain is just a tad too short). The current chain is basically new so I thought it might be wasteful to have to get a new chain altogether, though that is the optimal approach. I have considered just avoiding going big-big when riding, but feel like I might accidentally get into that situation and damage something. From past experience I do know that reconnecting without the special link will result in snappage. I already have a new chain ready to go but was just wondering if it's at all possible to salvage the current chain.
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Old 01-25-22, 06:54 AM
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In theory, if you have the extra links you could add them by using two quick links. I've never tried this but in the age of $60 chains, I might consider it.
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Old 01-25-22, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
In theory, if you have the extra links you could add them by using two quick links. I've never tried this but in the age of $60 chains, I might consider it.
+1. Easy, reliable, cheaper than a new chain. I've yet to have a quick link failure in about 70k miles of use and would feel perfectly OK with using 2 on one chain. I had a Wipperman QL on one chain and the rest have been KMC 8-10 speed versions.
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Old 01-25-22, 08:57 AM
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I would buy a new chain and keep the old one aside with the smaller cassette.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:45 AM
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KMC quick links work perfectly with Shimano chains and I too would have no qualms about using two of then to splice in a short extra piece of chain. You can buy extra Shimano special connecting pins and use them but the quick links are more convenient.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
I would buy a new chain and keep the old one aside with the smaller cassette.
Yes. https://www.excelsports.com/shimano-...10-speed-chain

I would buy a new chain, a couple of quick links, and save the pin in the new chain for one of those "in case" moments.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:51 AM
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I posted in 2017 or 2018 a thread about me re-using a pin in an 11 speed chain. Virtually everyone thought I done a terrible thing, an un-safe thing or that it would blow up and I'd be sorry.

Turns out that they were incorrect. My chain lasted till 2020 when I changed it out for wear (stretch) after at least 4800 miles of use. Unfortunately I didn't track it well however I think it actually has a few thousand more miles due to rides I didn't upload.

I personally wouldn't extend my chain unless I had the links that I know are of the same chain. If you have them just use quick links to fasten them in or if you have the Shimano pins that you break off the tapered end after pinning the chain, those are good too. But probably only for Shimano chains they are made for.

It was a lot of trouble for me to get that tiny piece of a pin aligned correctly to push in. I wouldn't have tried so hard at that if it wasn't for it being pretty weekend with the shops closed and me wanting to ride.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:34 AM
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I have frequently resized a shimano 10 speed chain using one of their chain pins. When I install a new chain, I always save the extra pin that comes with it,
so I've built up a good supply. You can also buy the pins: Universal Cycles -- Shimano 10 Spd Chain Pins [Y08X98031]

I've never had a broken chain yet.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:46 AM
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You can rejoin a chain using the Shimano joining pins, but there is a catch - only break the chain at a original chain pin (indented), not at a rejoining pin (flat).
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Old 01-25-22, 04:45 PM
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Thanks all for the input. I will see if I have the original links and a special pin/quick link laying around. If not, I'll just put on a new chain.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:34 PM
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I would not trust myself to never shift into big-big if physically possible, ie not blocked out mechanically. It would be interesting to see if anybody knows a way to do that without taking out your lowest ratio at the same time.

In a similar circumstance I considered two quick-links, but decided against that because it essentially doubles the risk of failure. In the end I changed to a slightly smaller big ring as well, and all was good. For some chainsets a new big ring might be very reasonably priced, maybe about the same as a new chain, and it might also move your "sweet spot" ratios closer to the middle of your cassette while on the big ring.

Failing that, I am in the new chain camp. KMC 10-speeds are not too expensive.

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Old 01-25-22, 06:13 PM
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Supposedly, you'll only require 1" more chain.
You "might" have it.
Check the current cassette in situ and see how much slack you have on the BIG:BIG.



IF you have to buy a new chain, you should have an extra inch or 2 after sizing. Use that with 2 quik links on the "old" chain.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:24 PM
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tFUnK
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Supposedly, you'll only require 1" more chain.
You "might" have it.
Check the current cassette in situ and see how much slack you have on the BIG:BIG.
I definitely do not have it with the current chain 😅
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Old 01-25-22, 10:48 PM
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One of my tandems requires a longer than standard chain. While it's not a 10 speed, and I could seek out a long chain, the easier solution is to just use two quick links and a bit of chain from a second package. I keep the almost new chain from the remainder of the second package for the next time I change a shorter one on another bike, or when I change that one again, at which point the add in segment slowly gets a bit longer.

I should get a new quick link, but so far I've just re-used the less worn of the two each time I do this and it hasn't posed an issue.
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Old 01-26-22, 09:52 AM
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Moving from 12-28t to 12-32t.
You did check the specs of your DR and make certain it even has a chance of handling the new 32t cog didn't you?

It's not just about whether the DR can clear it, but also whether it can handle the slack created in the chain when going from small/small to big/big.

While a longer hanger like a wolf tooth can help with clearance, it won't help with chain wrap.
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Old 01-28-22, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
have you done the drill (big/big plus two links)?
Actually, "the drill" is small-small and remove enough links so that the chain is still under tension. If that doesn't work in the big/big combo then you need a different rear derailleur with more wrap capacity. As to the OP's problem, just use quick links to add as many additional liks as needed. I haven't used "factory pins" in many tens of thousands of miles.
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Old 01-28-22, 11:13 AM
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I've used 2 quick links on one chain without incident. Berm Peak did a video with a chain made of quick links only

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Old 01-28-22, 11:29 AM
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Page 9 for sizing 32t and up. Big-big. https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CN0001-05-ENG.pdf
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Old 01-28-22, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
Actually, "the drill" is small-small and remove enough links so that the chain is still under tension. If that doesn't work in the big/big combo then you need a different rear derailleur with more wrap capacity. As to the OP's problem, just use quick links to add as many additional liks as needed. I haven't used "factory pins" in many tens of thousands of miles.
Actually the drill is what the DR manufacturer recommends.

Typically I find most Shimano DR's recommend the big/big without the chain going through the DR and add a link or two. However even among the same model DR there might be different procedures depending on whether the front is 2x or 3x.
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Old 01-29-22, 02:52 AM
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I appreciate following manufacturerís directions, but this is a little bit of chicken vs. egg. It needs to pass both big/big and small/small. Some people have an easier time setting one end and some the other.
From what Iíve found big/big+1 per the Wolftooth instructions is still too short. Admittedly thatís already a non-standard setup, but the point is you should do your own checks. Iíve also seen the directions seem a bit off when you slightly exceed the largest rear sprocket size or max tooth count. Off-list use, but one that you can often get away with to a small extent (obviously not in this specific case).
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Old 01-29-22, 07:22 AM
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Yes, it's trial and error when you venture beyond spec. Usually some additional compromise is involved or it wouldn't be beyond spec.
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